white NBA players

20 Greatest White NBA Players in History: Who Leads In 2023?

The NBA was founded on June 6, 1946, in New York City, originally as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). Owners of major ice hockey arenas created it to fill their venues on off-nights. The BAA faced competition from the National Basketball League (NBL), leading to a merger on August 3, 1949, to form the National Basketball Association (NBA).

The merger brought together the best teams and players, and the league grew steadily through the 1950s and 1960s, expanding to new markets. The National Basketball Association’s history is full of exceptional players. They hold numerous records as well as provide their fans with countless awesome memories.

The NBA is mostly dominated by African-American players these days. But there are many basketball players who are white and are able to stand out because of their technique and playing tactics. We will discuss such amazing white NBA players in this article.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has been a melting pot of talent, showcasing players from diverse backgrounds and nationalities. Among the myriad of stars who have graced the hardwood, a significant number of white players have left an indelible mark on the game.

From pioneering legends who shaped the early years of professional basketball to contemporary icons who continue to dazzle fans, white NBA players have contributed to the rich tapestry of the sport.

As we celebrate the diversity and excellence that defines the NBA, let’s take a moment to honor and explore the top 20 white NBA players of all time, whose skill, determination, and flair have earned them a place in basketball’s illustrious history.

Who is the best white NBA player currently?

Nikola Jokić, the Serbian sensation, and Denver Nuggets center, reigns as the top active white player in the NBA as of 18 May 2023. A two-time MVP winner, he narrowly missed the crown again, finishing as the runner-up in the 2022-23 MVP voting.

Who’s the Best? A Look at the Top 20 White NBA Players of All Time.

  1. Bogdan Bogdanović


This Serbian shooting guard, who plays for the Atlanta Hawks, has become a hero in Turkish Basketball tournaments, winning over five titles. He was also named FIBA’s top scorer in 2019. His professional career began with Partizan Belgrade in 2010, followed by stints with Fenerbahce and the Sacramento Kings. After signing a deal with the Atlanta Hawks in 2020, worth 72 million dollars, he is set to be a star player for the Hawks for at least the next four years.

  1. Walker Ross Kessler


Walker Ross Kessler (born July 26, 2001) is an American professional basketball player for the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the North Carolina Tar Heels and Auburn Tigers.

  1. Kevin Love


This American professional basketball player, a five-time NBA All-Star, has been playing as a power forward and center for the Cleveland Cavaliers since 2014. His professional journey began with his debut at UCLA in 2006, leading to his first NBA draft with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he also earned the NBA Most Improved Player Award. A 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, he has not only made a name for himself on the court but also off it, with appearances in television series like ‘Entourage’ and ‘Gunnin’ for that No. 1 Spot.’ His combination of media visibility, powerful performance, and television roles solidifies his place among the top 20 white NBA players.

  1. Kevin Huerter


Kevin Joseph Huerter, born on August 27, 1998, is an accomplished American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Sacramento Kings in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Before making his mark in the professional league, he showcased his talents in college basketball with the Maryland Terrapins.
Huerter has represented the United States in international competitions, winning gold medals at the FIBA Under-18 Americas Championship and the FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup.

Kevin Huerter’s combination of size, shooting ability, and basketball IQ has made him a valuable asset in the NBA, and he continues to be a player to watch as his career progresses.

  1. Gordon Hayward


American professional basketball player who has made significant strides in the NBA. Here’s a rewritten version of the text, along with some additional information about him:

Gordon Hayward, a 2017 NBA All-Star, is a prominent figure in professional basketball, currently playing for the Charlotte Hornets. His journey in the NBA has seen him associated with various teams, including the Utah Jazz, Team Chuck, and the Boston Celtics. In 2020, Hayward inked a lucrative 4-year contract with the Charlotte Hornets, valued at 120 million dollars.

Beyond his on-court achievements, Hayward’s story has reached even wider audiences through the commercial “League of Legends,” which narrates his recovery journey. He has also endorsed well-known brands such as HyperX and Xfinity.

  1. Brook Lopez


This American professional basketball player has achieved remarkable success on and off the court. Named one of the “world’s highest-paid athletes” by Forbes in 2018, he has become a prominent figure in the sport. Currently playing for the Milwaukee Bucks, he recently celebrated an ‘NBA Champion title with the team. His basketball journey began at Stanford University, where he showcased his scoring prowess. The NBA came calling in 2008 when he was drafted by the Brooklyn Nets, a team with which he would have his longest and most notable stint. During his time with the Nets, he earned the title of ‘Rookie’ on two occasions, a testament to his exceptional talent. His skills did not go unnoticed, leading to an invitation by the NBA Commissioner to participate in the 2013 NBA All-Star game. His career with the Brooklyn Nets not only brought him fame and recognition but solidified his status as one of the game’s elite players.

  1. Joe Harris


Joining the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014, this player, known as Washington’s Mr. Basketball, has demonstrated professional-level skills since his high school basketball career. He made his college debut playing for the Virginia Cavaliers, showcasing his talent and potential. Currently representing the Brooklyn Nets, he also had a brief association with the Orlando Magic. Off the court, he’s recognized as a compassionate individual, actively involved in “Starting Five,” a subgroup of the Hoops2O Foundation. His accolades, including All-ACC titles and MVP awards, have solidified his place among the top 20 white NBA players, reflecting his excellence and contribution to the game.

  1. Duncan Robinson


He started his journey on the court with Governor’s Academy, followed by stints with William College Ephs and Michigan Wolverines. Now a key player for the Miami Heat, he has represented the team in the NBA All-Star Weekend’s three-point contest. Since making his NBA debut with the Heat in 2018, he has become the subject of the richest contract in NBA history, marking a significant milestone in his career. His progression from college basketball to a star in the professional league underscores his talent and determination in the sport.

  1. Steve Adams


He is the ‘Pittsburgh’s Superstar’ who was declared as the Best East Preseason Rookie. This New Zealand professional basketball player was recently traded to Memphis Grizzlies in August 2021. His professional NBA career started with Wellington Saints in 2011 as an unpaid College athlete. Then he moved to Oklahoma City Thunder as the 12th overall pick in 2013. He is also associated with New Orleans Pelicans. His autobiography titled ‘Steven Adams: My Life, My Fight’ was released in 2018. The shaping of this New Zealand, one of the top 20 White NBA players, dates back to his induction at the Notre Dame Preparatory School.

  1. Nikola Vučević


Beginning his NBA career with the Philadelphia 76ers, this talented player has been representing the Chicago Bulls since 2020. A two-time NBA All-Star, he has also donned the Montenegrin jersey at FIBA competitions. His skills were recognized early on in his home country, where he was one of the youngest players ever to be honored as Montenegro’s Best Young Player. These impressive credentials, combined with his continued success in the NBA, firmly place him among the top 20 white NBA players. His journey from a promising young talent to an established star in the league is a testament to his skill, dedication, and hard work.

  1. Franz Jacob Wagner


Franz Jacob Wagner, born on August 27, 2001, in Berlin, Germany, is a professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA), where he represents the Orlando Magic. Standing at 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 m) and weighing 220 pounds (100 kg), he primarily plays as a small forward. Wagner’s basketball journey began with Alba Berlin, a prominent club in the Basketball Bundesliga (BBL), where he earned the title of BBL Best German Young Player in 2019. Before joining the NBA, he showcased his talents in college basketball with the Michigan Wolverines. On the international stage, Wagner has been a key player for German youth national teams, even securing a gold medal at the 2018 Albert Schweitzer Tournament. Adding to his basketball lineage, his older brother Moritz Wagner, also a former standout player at Michigan, plays alongside him for the Orlando Magic. Together, the Wagner brothers contribute to the growing legacy of German talent in the NBA.

  1. Alex Caruso


Teaming up with the winner of the NBA Championship 2020, Chicago Bulls is an American Professional basketball player. His career journey with Oklahoma City Blue in 2016-17 to Chicago Bulls to date has helped him earn recognition and he is one of the top 20 White NBA players.

  1. Kristaps Porzingis


Standing as the tallest player in the NBA, this Dallas Mavericks superstar commands both the center forward and center positions on the court. He embarked on his professional basketball career in 2012 when he signed with Sevilla, quickly earning the “Rising Star” award for his remarkable athleticism. Building on this successful start, he joined the New York Knicks in 2015. A memorable victory over the Detroit Pistons further elevated his reputation, bringing him widespread recognition. The legendary basketball player Kevin Durant has even referred to him as a “unicorn,” a testament to his unique and exceptional talents. His presence on the court continues to captivate fans and fellow players, solidifying his status as one of the game’s most intriguing figures.

  1. Austin Reaves


Austin Tyler Reaves (born May 29, 1998) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Wichita State Shockers and the Oklahoma Sooners.

  1. Lauri Markkanen


Born on May 22, 1997, Lauri Elias Markkanen is a Finnish professional basketball player who currently plays for the Utah Jazz in the National Basketball Association (NBA). His journey to the NBA began with the 2017 draft, where he was selected as the seventh overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Shortly thereafter, he was traded to the Chicago Bulls in a deal for Jimmy Butler. Lauri’s athletic talent runs in the family; he is the son of Finnish basketball players Pekka and Riikka Markkanen, and his brother, Eero Markkanen, is a professional football player with Danish Superliga side Randers FC. Lauri’s combination of skill, heritage, and determination has made him a standout player in the league, and he continues to contribute to the success of his team.

  1. Josh Giddey


Joshua James Giddey is an Australian professional basketball player for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association. The Thunder selected him with the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft.

  1. Tyler Herro


This young athlete is an American Professional basketball player drafted for Miami Heat since 2019. He was the best shooter in the 2019 class and is the most recent NBA player. He is certainly the first NBA player to appear in Conference Final. His name appears in the song ‘Tyler Herro’ by Jack Harlow. This most recent NBA phenomenon is one of the top White NBA players.

  1. Domantas Sabonis


Domantas Sabonis, born on May 3, 1996, in Portland, is a Lithuanian professional basketball player who currently represents the Sacramento Kings in the National Basketball Association (NBA). His basketball journey began in Spain, where he played for the junior and senior teams of Unicaja Málaga before spending two seasons with Gonzaga in college basketball. Born into a basketball legacy, he is the son of Basketball Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis, and his birthplace coincides with his father’s tenure with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Significant achievements have marked Sabonis’s NBA career. On September 26, 2018, the Pacers exercised the team option on his contract, reflecting their confidence in his abilities. He showcased his talent on October 31 of the same year, going 12-for-12 in shooting and tying his career-high with 30 points in a victory over the New York Knicks. Later, on November 19, he contributed 19 points, nine rebounds, and a career-high nine assists in a win against the Utah Jazz. His outstanding performance in 2018 culminated in being named the Lithuanian Player of the Year by the Lithuanian Basketball Federation.

Domantas Sabonis continues to make his mark in the NBA, building on his family’s basketball heritage and contributing to the success of his team. His skill, determination, and versatility make him a valuable asset in the league.

  1. Luka Dončić


Luka Dončić, born on February 28, 1999, in Ljubljana, Slovenia, is a renowned professional basketball player who plays for the Dallas Mavericks in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and represents the Slovenian national team. The son of former player Sa-a Dončić, Luka’s basketball talent was evident early on. He began his journey with Union Olimpija, shining as a youth player before making a significant move to Real Madrid at the young age of 13 in 2012.

Making his debut with Real Madrid’s senior side at just 16, the youngest in the club’s history, Dončić quickly became a key player. His leadership helped the team secure the 2018 EuroLeague title, and he was honored with the EuroLeague MVP and EuroLeague Final Four MVP awards at only 19. His accolades include being named the ACB Most Valuable Player and winning back-to-back EuroLeague Rising Star and ACB Best Young Player awards.

In 2018, Dončić took his talents to the NBA, declaring for the draft and joining the Dallas Mavericks. His international career has been equally impressive, making his senior debut for Slovenia in 2016 at age 17. He played a pivotal role in Slovenia’s first EuroBasket title win in 2017 and was selected to the All-Tournament Team.

Luka Dončić’s meteoric rise from a promising young talent to one of the brightest stars in professional basketball is a testament to his skill, determination, and passion for the game. His achievements continue to inspire players and fans alike, both in Europe and the United States.

  1. Nikola Jokić


Born on February 19, 1995, Nikola Jokić is a Serbian professional basketball player who stars as the center for the Denver Nuggets in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Known by the nickname “the Joker,” Jokić’s impressive career includes being a three-time NBA All-Star and earning three All-NBA Team selections, two of which were first-team honors.

His exceptional performance during the 2020–21 NBA season earned him the prestigious NBA Most Valuable Player Award. In addition to his achievements with the Nuggets, Jokić also proudly represents the Serbian national team. He began his NBA journey when the Nuggets selected him in the second round of the 2014 NBA draft. His combination of skill, versatility, and basketball IQ has made him one of the most dominant and unique players in the league.

Wrapping Up

In the rich tapestry of the NBA, the contributions of white players have been both significant and impactful. This list of the top 20 white NBA players of all time showcases a diverse array of talents, achievements, and playing styles that have left an indelible mark on the game. From sharpshooters to dominant big men, these players have excelled in their respective roles, earning accolades and the admiration of fans and peers alike.

At the top of this illustrious list stands Nikola Jokić, a player whose unique blend of skill, creativity, and basketball intelligence has redefined the center position. His accolades, including the coveted NBA Most Valuable Player Award, are a testament to his excellence on the court. Nicknamed “the Joker,” Jokić’s game is no laughing matter, as he continues to dazzle audiences with his exceptional play.

The legacy of these 20 players serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes and a reminder of the diverse talent that has graced the NBA hardwood. Their stories, filled with determination, innovation, and success, continue to shape the narrative of professional basketball, celebrating the universal appeal of the sport. Whether you’re a seasoned fan or new to the game, the achievements of these players offer a compelling glimpse into the ever-evolving world of basketball.